Thursday, 11 December 2008

Follow-up: New EU anti-discrimination directive

In August, I have reported about the proposed new EU anti-discrimination directive, and the Council has now published a follow-up progress report.

To make a long story short, it still looks as if this document (the new directive) will still have a long way to go:
"For the time being, all delegations have maintained general scrutiny reservations on the proposal. [...] The Commission has meanwhile affirmed its original proposal at this stage and has maintained scrutiny reservations on any changes thereto."
The European Parliament is expected to give its opinion on 29 March 2009, and within the Council a number of issues have been raised by member states that will have to be dealt with:
  • the potential financial and administrative burden imposed by the provisions, particularly regarding SMEs and the self-employed; 
  • the concept of discrimination by association; 
  • the issue of gender mainstreaming and the question of multiple discrimination; 
  • national legislation ensuring the secular nature of the state and measures concerning the wearing of religious symbols in schools; and 
  • the length of the implementation period(s). 
Altogether, there is not much movement in this matter; in contrary, even more questions and reservations seem to appear, which might well prolong the whole process.